After posting the time-consuming Spanokopita recipe, I figured I should share something that doesn’t take 2 hours to assemble! Here’s a basic lentil soup recipe that is simple and easy to prepare. I was in the mood for cumin today, but you can substitute any spices you want, such as oregano, sage, thyme, or basil. Also, pearl barley is a delicious substitute for the brown rice! Here’s the basic recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups dry brown/green lentils
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 large shallots (or 1 medium onion), finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin (or whatever spice you are in the mood for!)
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry white wine
- salt* and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3-4 cups loosely packed baby spinach (or chopped spinach)
Rinse lentils and brown rice, and set aside. Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, cumin, stock, water, and wine and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and/or freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in raw spinach. Let stand 2 or 3 minutes before serving, giving spinach time to cook slightly. Enjoy!
*The amount of salt required will vary greatly depending on what kind of broth you use. I like to use a bouillon called “Better Than Bouillon” – 5 tsp bouillon paste mixed with 5 cups of water to make the 5 cups broth in the recipe. This is very salty and I never need to add salt at the end. However, if you make your own broth or buy liquid broth in a carton, you will probably need to add salt at the end.